Manial Palace The Manial Palace and Museum is a former Alawiyya dynasty era palace and grounds on Rhoda Island on the Nile. It is located in the Sharia Al-Saray area in the El-Manial district of southern Cairo, Egypt. The palace and estate has been preserved as an Antiquities Council directed historic house museum and estate, reflecting the settings and lifestyle of the late 19th- and early 20th-century Egyptian royal prince and heir apparent. The residence compound, composed of five separate and distinctively styled buildings, is surrounded by Persian gardens within an extensive English Landscape garden estate park, along a small branch of the Nile.
History The Manial Palace was built by Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik (1875—1955), the uncle of King Farouk, between 1899 and 1929. He had it designed in a style integrating European Art Nouveau and Rococo with many traditional Islamic architecture styles including Ottoman, Arab Andalusian, Persian, creating inspired combinations in spatial design, architectural and interior decorations, and sumptuous materials. It housed his extensive art, furniture, clothing, silver and art objects collections, and medieval manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages. The ceramic tile work of the entryway and the mosque were created by the Armenian ceramist David Ohannessian, originally from Kutahya. The museum exhibits an important period in the history of modern Egypt and is characterized by its architectural design. Its modern Islamic style merges with Persian and Mamluk elements. It was also inspired by Syrian, Moroccan and Andalusian motifs, as well as Ottoman style. The building thus harmonises between a number of Islamic architectural traditions.
Description You enter the grounds through the Reception Palace, with its grand halls for receiving guests decorated lavishly with tiles, chandeliers and carved ceilings. In the Residential Palace check out the Blue Salon, where battered leather sofas sit against walls decorated with glorious blue faience tiles and Orientalist oil paintings. Then head to the Throne Palace for the Throne Hall’s gaudy gold-styling, and the eye-popping rococo and baroque overload of the Aubusson Room. Even Manial Palace’s mosque (with rococo-inspired ceiling) and clock tower (based on Moroccan Almohad-era minaret design) are a marvellous mesh of influences.